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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 17th, 2013, 12:35 am
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Default What does the sentence mean?

Hi,

"I felt he was wrong, although I didn't say so at the time."

Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 17th, 2013, 02:44 pm
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Which part is the problem here? I felt maybe? Feel can be used to mean believe/think. Or is it so? So (as used here) is a proform which substitutes for a verb phrase to avoid the need for repetition.
So a gloss would be :
I thought he was wrong but I didn't say that I thought he was wrong at the time.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 18th, 2013, 12:41 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Hi susan,

1.I think the part I'm confused about is the word 'although'. Sorry about the confusion!
What does but mean in
"I felt he was wrong, but I didn't say so at the time."
Does it mean on the other hand?


2. What does but mean in the context?
"You need sugar to make this kind of candy - but not just any kind of sugar would do; you must use brown sugar."


Thanks.

Last edited by fface : Sep 18th, 2013 at 03:29 am.
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Unread Sep 18th, 2013, 10:13 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

No. although indicates a relationship of concession between the two ideas- the discourse takes an unexpected direction. If you say that "I felt he was wrong" then I logically expect you to continue "so I told him so and explained the real situation". The use of although warns the listener that something "unexpected" will follow.
For example, Although he always arrives late and never does any work, we've decided to promote him.
The information at the beginning - he always arrives late and never does any work - would lead you to expect the speaker to say something like We're going to fire him. the connectives warn you that something unexpected will follow.

On the other hand is different - it expresses a contrast. Eg :
John really annoys me because he's so unpunctual. On the other hand, he's a very hard worker.
- here, there's a direct contrast between a negative quality (unpunctuality) and a positive quality (working hard).

But can be used both in contexts of concession (as in your two examples) and in contexts of contrast :
Concession - He always arrives late and never does any work, but we've decided to promote him.
Contrast - John's horribly unpunctual, but he's a very hard worker.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 18th, 2013, 05:41 pm
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Quote:
Quote fface View Post
"I felt he was wrong, although I didn't say so at the time."
Hi susan,
Then, can I rewrite the sentence as follows without changing the meaning?

1.Despite the fact that/Although I felt he was wrong, I didn't say so at the time.

2.I didn't say so at the time, despite the fact that/ although I felt he was wrong.

3.I felt he was wrong, yet I didn't say so at the time.

Thanks a lot.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 19th, 2013, 02:09 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Yes, fine. All of the connectives you have used are markers of concession, so no problem. Yet gives a slightly more formal feel to the sentence, but there's no difference in meaning.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 23rd, 2013, 01:48 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Hi susan,

1.
"I felt he was wrong. However/Nevertheless, I didn't say so at the time."
Do however and nevertheless give a more formal feel to the sentence, so it wouldn't sound natural?

2.
A. "I felt he was wrong, but I didn't say so at the time."
B. "Although I didn't say so at the time, I felt he was wrong."
What's the difference between A. and B. in meaning and focus ?

Thank you very much.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 23rd, 2013, 10:25 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

We talked about these word here. it's the same ...

1. They'd be more usual in written than spoken English, but aren't particularly formal.

2. No difference in meaning. If by focus you mean emphasis or "weight" - information in a subordinate clause tends to be less important than that in the main clause. So in (a) the ideas have roughly equal weight because they are both in main clauses, whereas in (b) the first piece of information is clearly subordinated to the second.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 26th, 2013, 05:20 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
Although he always arrives late and never does any work, we've decided to promote him.
Hi susan,
Would it make sense to say 'Although we've decided to promote him, he always arrives late and never does any work.'?


Is it true that nevertheless is bit more formal and emphatic than however?

Thanks.

Last edited by fface : Sep 27th, 2013 at 03:30 am.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 27th, 2013, 03:01 pm
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

It depends on the surrounding context - as you've stated it it sounds ridiculous - why would anyone promote someone like that? But add a bit more information and maybe...

He's the boss's son, so we don't have much choice. But everybody knows that although we've decided to promote him, he always arrives late and never does any work. So I doubt if he'll get much respect.

And the same is true for your question regarding "nevertheless". Words never exist in isolation - only in combinatiuon with others. So you can never decide on something like level of formality without a full context.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 27th, 2013, 03:01 pm
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

It depends on the surrounding context - as you've stated it it sounds ridiculous - why would anyone promote someone like that. but add a bit more information and maybe...

He's the boss's son, so we don't have much choice. But everybody knows that although we've decided to promote him, he always arrives late and never does any work. So I doubt if he'll get much respect.

And the same is true for your question regarding "nevertheless". Words never exist in isolation - only in combination with others. So you can never decide on something like level of formality without a full context.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 28th, 2013, 04:54 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
He's the boss's son, so we don't have much choice. But everybody knows that although we've decided to promote him, he always arrives late and never does any work. So I doubt if he'll get much respect.
Hi susan,

What does But mean in But everybody knows that although...?

Why can But be put in the beginning of a sentence if it is a conjunction here?

Thanks a lot.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 2nd, 2013, 01:35 pm
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

"But" in that sentence means : But ... he always arrives lateand never does any work.

You'll find the answer to the second question here : can and/but start a sentence?
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  #14 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 9th, 2013, 03:30 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
.


On the other hand is different - it expresses a contrast. Eg :
John really annoys me because he's so unpunctual. On the other hand, he's a very hard worker.
- here, there's a direct contrast between a negative quality (unpunctuality) and a positive quality (working hard).

But can be used both in contexts of concession (as in your two examples) and in contexts of contrast :
Concession - He always arrives late and never does any work, but we've decided to promote him.
Contrast - John's horribly unpunctual, but he's a very hard worker.
Hi susan,

Can 'despite that fact' and 'in spite of that fact' express a contrast in the same way that 'on the other hand' would in your example?

"John's horribly unpunctual. Despite that fact,/In spite of that fact, he's a very hard worker."

Thank you.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 9th, 2013, 12:01 pm
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

No - you've phrased the expression in a way it's not used in English - I found no examples at all of in spite of/ despite that fact in either BNC or Brown (UK and US corpora respectively of over 3m words total).

Use : [i]In spite of/Despite + noun phrase within the same sentence - as I used them in my examples. When you want to use a new clause, then use ... the fact that....

Other examples :
In spite of this catastrophe, the bridge was rebuilt
He decided to make the climb, despite the fact that everyone had said it was too dangerous
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  #16 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 10th, 2013, 04:18 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Hi Susan,

Thank you very much for your correction. Could you please check if the example "She wasn't well, but despite this she went to work," which I found from the internet is correct?
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  #17 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 10th, 2013, 11:25 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

That's fine.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 11th, 2013, 02:36 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Quote:
Quote fface View Post
Hi Susan,

Thank you very much for your correction. Could you please check if the example "She wasn't well, but despite this she went to work," which I found from the internet is correct?
Hi susan,

Are these also fine?

She wasn't well, despite that/ despite this she went to work.
She wasn't well, but despite that she went to work.
She wasn't well, in spite of that/ in spite of this she went to work.

Thanks a lot.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 11th, 2013, 09:28 am
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

I'm not sure what you're asking about. Is it :

a) can despite/in spite of be followed by this/that?
As I said before : In spite of/Despite are prepositions and so are followed by a noun phrase (which includes pronouns). So - in spoken English probably that, as by the time the word has been spoken, the idea it refers to has passed, while in written English probably this as they're still on the page.

or is your question :

b) Would the sentences be syntactically correct?
No - only the middle one. You have two main clauses here and so they must have a conjunction to join them into one sentence. So either :
She wasn't well, but despite that she went to work.
or
She wasn't well. Despite that, she went to work.
As we saw in the last example, But can also be used as a sentence adverbial, so :
She wasn't well. But despite that, she went to work.
is OK too

NB : The word fine is only used in assertive contexts - ie those which assert that something is true. These are assertive contexts :

(How are you?) I'm fine / I'm sure that will be fine / These examples seem fine to me

The following are non- assertive contexts, and fine has to be replaced with other words - OK, right, well, all right, etc - depending on the context:

a) the speaker knows or believes it isn't true :

(How are you?) I'm not very well / I doubt if that will be OK / These examples don't seem right to me /

b) The speaker doesn't know if it's true and asks about it :

Are you OK? / Do you think that will be all right? / Do these examples seem OK to you?
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Last edited by susan53 : Oct 13th, 2013 at 05:39 am.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 12th, 2013, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: What does the sentence mean?

Hi susan,

Your answers a and b are just what I was looking for. Thanks very much for that. Also, thank you for your correction about the usage of 'fine'. I now know that I've used it incorrectly.
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